It's best to get out of your comfort zone
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There is comfort in routine and order. There is also danger. The danger of becoming stagnant and stale in your thinking. The danger of becoming narrow minded and intolerant. The danger of wasting your potential or squandering opportunities. You can get so used to saying or doing things in a certain way that you can find it hard to let go of old ideas and refresh your point of view.
If there is one thing that we all should have learned over these last four or five years of economic upheaval it is that we can't assume that what has been always will be. We've learned that we must have a hustle to back up our hustle. That requires fresh thinking and a willingness to do what it takes.
Usually, when someone says they will do whatever it takes to succeed or survive it involves screwing someone over or using unethical means to achieve a goal. That is not what I am advocating. In fact, it is that kind of thinking that has brought about many of our current troubles - economic and otherwise. Rather, I look at it from the standpoint of accepting in your heart that there can be no more sacred cows.
The current climate in our country has people picking sides and sticking with them even when they don't fully agree with that side. There is such a permeating sense of 'us' and 'them' in a country that should, at a time like this, be all about the 'we.' It can be disheartening, but I feel like the only way to get past it is to realize that we don't have to get caught up in that way of thinking. We can slaughter our sacred cows and put all possibilities on the table.
Of all the brilliant things Einstein must have said in his life the one we quote the most is his saying that to do the same thing and expect a different result is the definition of insanity. And yet many of us engage in this insanity everyday because we are afraid to let go of the way things have always been done. We feel like there are certain things about ourselves or the way we do things that cannot change. To change them would make us disloyal or inauthentic. Perhaps it would require us to do things we have always been afraid to do or that we don't feel capable of handling.
All of that is fine if you are happy with the way your life is. Life is not meant to be lived in a standstill, however. Even when it's good, life is meant to be improved or expanded. If we don't allow ourselves to explore a new path and to break away from old habits, we are living a truncated life.
By the same token, we have to understand what works for us and not be afraid to stay the course when it is truly in our best interest. There are so many outlets telling us what to do and what to think. There are so many so-called experts trying to tell us what will make us happy and successful. There are so many businesses trying to get us to live a certain lifestyle that involves their product, of course. It is enough to make you question yourself in an effort to keep up with the latest trend.
There are many things that will help you achieve the lifestyle you desire. One of the most important is to know your own mind and to be unafraid to decide when to step out of your comfort zone, and when to stick to your guns. It means taking a good look at the choices you make for yourself and telling yourself that no possibility is off limits and nothing is carved in stone.
- Contact Daily News contributing columnist Mariel Blake at firstname.lastname@example.org.